News 20 Aug 2018

Halliday closes in on 600cc Supersport title

Yamaha Motor Australia press release:

Yamaha Racing Team’s Cru Halliday has tightened his already vice-like grip on this year’s Australian Supersport Championship in the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK), after another clean sweep at Morgan Park Raceway last weekend.

Halliday was ruthless throughout the weekend, as he topped the time sheets in every practice, qualifying and even warm up session before going on to won both 600cc Supersport races and extend his lead in the championship.

After starting from pole position, Halliday stormed to a 4.944 second victory in race one. The first part of the race saw Halliday getting the holeshot and looked as if he was going to do a disappearing act from the word go. However, the race was quickly red flagged due to a fallen rider, which mean Halliday had to do his work all over again.

Halliday didn’t get quite get off to a flying start in the restarted race. In fact, he dropped to third in the opening lap and had to get back to work if he wanted the race victory. A battle broke out as he tried to move to the front with both Max Croker and Damon Rees putting up a good fight, but Halliday was too good and stormed to victory.

Race two saw Halliday having to work for his ninth win of the season, against his nearest championship rival, Tom Toparis. Halliday rocketed off the line and lead into the first corner but lost the lead to Toparis into turn ten. It wasn’t until lap four where Halliday used the power of the Yamaha YZF-R6 to its advantage, passing Toparis down the main straightaway.
Toparis fought back and recaptured the lead again but Halliday stalked him before making his final move into the lead and rode away to a three second race win.

“Tom, Max and Damon raced really well today and I enjoyed the battle with them,” Halliday begins of his day. “Each of them had strengths in certain parts of the track and it made me not just try and ride fast but also think my way past them. I loved the challenge of that and happy I was able to make it happen in both races.

“I saw on the start line for race two that Tom went for the softer option tyre and I knew I had to stay with him at the start of the race. If he wondered off, it could have been a bit of a challenge to reel him back in.

“Big thanks to everyone at Yamaha Racing Team. I can’t thank everyone enough. Both Kev Marshall and Jeff Dillion have prepared me a fantastic Yamaha YZF-R6 and it’s proving to be the bike to be on,” added Halliday, who is now 41 points clear at the top of the table.

YRT Superbike riders Wayne Maxwell and Daniel Falzon finished in a respectfully fourth and fifth place overall for the round.

Maxwell, who started from fourth place on the grid guided his Yamaha YZF-R1M to two third places in the races. The opening Superbike race, which was reduced from sixteen to fourteen laps due to another rider’s crash, saw Maxwell getting a good start and leading for the first two laps. However, the 2013 Australian Superbike champion couldn’t maintain the lead as he lost a tiny bit of grip.

Once again Maxwell managed to get another good start in the second race. For the opening seven laps the Victorian rider sat in third position, before falling to fourth on lap eight. On the second lap Maxwell managed retake third place and score his tenth top three race finish for the year.

“I was just hanging onto the back of the front group of riders in race two. It was just the middle sector where I was just losing a bit of time, which is something which we are going to have to work on,” explained Maxwell.

“My outright speed is what the other guys can do in race pace, which is something which we struggled with here. I don’t think we are far off, just a tenth or two in vital parts of the track or the race that let us down but we will keep working on it.

“I’m still second in the championship but anything can happen so we have to keep fighting and plugging away,” he added.

Falzon scored a pair of fifths in both races, which was not to bad considering he had a fall on Saturday in qualifying, which saw the former two times Australian Supersport championship starting from sixth place on the grid.

“To finish both races and still get consistent points is good for our championship,” said Falzon, who racked up his 50th Superbike race start in race two at Morgan Park.

With Falzon finishing both races, this means that the South Australian rider maintains his 100% finish rate in the 2018 season, which has kept him in good stead for the overall championship by maintaining fourth position overall.

“I have to thank the crew at Yamaha Racing Team this weekend. They really did shine when repairing the bike after my accident on Saturday, to the point where I raced it today and had no issues with it, at all. The Yamaha YZF-R1M has proven to be a very good bike and I look forward to developing it further with the team throughout the rest of the year,” finished Falzon.

The Australian Superbike Championship now heads to Winton Motor Raceway, just outside Benalla in Victoria, which is scheduled for 7-9 September.

Related